Antea Group recently had the opportunity to participate in a number of forums and conferences related to a relatively new sustainability topic, the Circular Economy (CE), where the focus is on de-coupling business growth from resource consumption and environmental degradation.
United Nations Environment Programme – International Resource Panel
The International Resource Panel (IRP) was established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in 2007 as a global science-policy platform to provide the best available scientific knowledge on sustainable management of natural resources.
The IRP, with the technical support from the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York (RIT), is conducting a study on the role of circular production and product life extension practices such as remanufacturing, refurbishment, repair and, direct reuse and refurbishment and their contribution to resource efficiency in both developing and developed countries.
On October 10, 2016, RIT hosted a workshop to provide a consultative opportunity to engage with stakeholders from markets that are important to the IRP study, and to generate/validate essential data inputs to this study. As part of the workshop, perspectives of stakeholders across a range of sectors and organizations, including players from the automotive, healthcare, and tech sectors, alongside government and academic organizations, were solicited, creating an open dialogue regarding key issues relevant to the study.
Antea Group was excited to participate in these discussions and contribute to one of the panel discussions about the current state of the CE in Europe, which included a discussion of the following:
- Progress towards CE, and how it is being tracked and monitored,
- Current initiatives and enablers in support of circular economy and systems,
- Drivers and enabling forces for circular economy and systems,
- Business model innovations and experiences, and
- Current challenges and barriers to circular economy and systems (technological, regulatory, cultural, and others.)
Additional presentations addressed the latest research on circular topics such as remanufacturing, refurbishment, and repair, along with conversations on implementation and policy barriers in this important and emerging area of sustainability. The workshop concluded with a facilitated discussion by our own Tristan Steichen on the major enablers and barriers towards adaptation towards a Circular Eco nomy.
CE 100 Workshop in Berlin
Antea Group was also honored to be among the more than 200 participants from organizations around the globe during the latest Circular Economy 100 (CE 100) acceleration workshop in Berlin. The Circular Economy is a new focus for many organizations aiming to systematically build in reusability to their products, thus decoupling growth from resource consumption and environmental degradation.
One of the more compelling (and relevant) presentations was delivered by one company within the food & beverage industry, and how they are driving circularity into their business. This company provided key insights into their successes and challenges through organizational realignment, development of sustainability-based performance metrics, and improved communication and dialogue on lessons learned.
Antea Group had an opportunity to discuss our efforts related to creating the business case for investing in circularity (and sustainability, in general). We talked about our successes and key challenges associated with these efforts, including our work with the Monetization Working Group, and industry organizations formed to tackle these very issues, and our Accounting for Sustainability solution, which applies accounting tools to fully quantify the tangible and intangible impacts of sustainability decisions.
During these discussions, there were several intriguing potential solutions from breakout participants, including ideas on how to gather more substantially data on the economic consequences, both positive and negative, from those that have invested (or failed to invest) in various sustainability efforts.